Columbia University Medical Center


Michael E. Goldberg, MD

Michael E. Goldberg, MD
  • Department of Neuroscience
  • Department of Neurology
    Division of Critical Care and Hospitalist Neurology
  • Department of Psychiatry
    Division of Neurobiology and Behavior
  • David Mahoney Professor of Brain and Behavior (in Neuroscience and Neurology [in Psychiatry and Ophthalmology])

Director, Mahoney Center

We study the psychophysics and physiology of cognitive processes in the monkey, using single unit recording, iontophoresis, and careful behavioral measurements.  The thrust of the lab has been understanding the physiology of visual attention - how the brain selects important objects in the visual field for further processing - and the generation of spatially accurate behavior despite a constantly moving eye.  Current projects include studying the role of somatosensory cortex in the eye-position modulation of visual responses in parietal cortex; studying a newly discovered untuned cholinergic modulatory signal in the monkey parietal cortex that predicts how well the monkey will perform on the current trial of a difficult task, correlates inversely with the monkey's recent history of success or failure, and correlates positively with the neuron's response to a visual transient; studying the involuntarily establish of spatial memory memory in the lateral intraparietal area and the parahippocampal gyrus, studying the fine structure of perisaccadic remapping of visual receptive fields, and studying the role of the cerebellum in visualmotor  associations.  Recent discoveries in the laboratory include the demonstration of a predictive relationship of parietal activity to both saccadic reaction time and visual attention; the demonstration that the lateral parietal area acts as a linear summing junction for at least three independent signals: a saccadic signal, and undifferentiated visual signal, and a cognitive signal, and the proprioceptive representation of eye position in monkey area 3a of primary somatosensory cortex, and the time course of eye-position modulation of visual responses in the parietal cortex..




Education & Training

  • Harvard Medical School
  • Residency: Harvard Longwood Psychiatry
  • Primary Lab Locations

    Kolb Research Annex

    40 Haven Avenue
    Unit 87, 5th floor, Room 561
    New York, NY 10032

    (646) 774-7389
    (646) 543-5816


    Member, The Kavli Institute for Brain Science

    Past president, Society for Neuroscience, currently Chair of the Committee on Animal Research, SfN

    Member, FENS Committee on ANimal Research

    Member National Academy of Sciences

    Fellow American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

    Member American Neurological Association, American Academy of Neurology

    Contact Information

    Honors & Awards

    Honors:          Member, Phi Beta Kappa (1963), Alpha Omega Alpha (1968)

    1972                 S. Weir Mitchell Award, American Academy of Neurology

    1982                Elected to the American Neurological Association

    1997                Elected an Associate of the Neuroscience Research Program of the Neuroscience Institute.

    1999                Wundt Lecturer, Max Planck Institute for Cognitive Neuroscience, Leipzig

    1999                Graduation Visiting Professor of Neurology, Longwood Program, Harvard Medical School.

    1999                Grass Traveling Lecturer, Queens University, Kingston, Ontario

    2000                Sprague Lecturer, Mahoney Neuroscience Institute, University of Pennsylvania

    2001                Special Lecturer, Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting.

    2002                Heller Lecturer in Computational Neuroscience, Hebrew University,  Jerusalem, Israel.

    2004                Mary G. Notter Lecturer in Neurobiology, University of Rochester

    2006                Bodian Lecturer, Johns Hopkins University

    2006                Elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

    2006                Louis P. Rowland Teaching Award, Columbia University Department of Neurology

    2007                Eli Lilly Lecturer, University of Montreal

    2008                Elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science

    2009                Elected a member of the Dana Alliance

    2009                Inaugural Colloquium Lecture, Institute of Neuroscience, Universite Catholique de Louvain la Neuve.

    2010                Keynote Speaker, European Primate Neurobiology Meeting, Tuebingen, Gemany

    2010                David Robinson Lecturer, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Johns Hopkins

    2010                Swammerdam Lecture, Netherlands Neuroscience Institute.

    2011                Plenary Lecturer, International Conference on Cognitive and Neural Systems, Boston University

    2011                Elected to the National Academy of Sciences

    2011                Patricia Goldman-Rakic Award for Cognitive Neuroscience, Brain and Behavior Research Foundation. 

    Past Positions

    1975-1978       Research Neurologist and Chief, Section on Experimental Neurology, Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute, Bethesda, Maryland

    1978-1981       Research Medical Officer, Laboratory of Sensorimotor Research, NEI, NIH.

    1981-1992        Chief, Section on Neuroophthalmological Mechanisms, Laboratory of Sensorimotor Research.

    1992-1997        Senior Medical Research Officer, Laboratory of Sensorimotor Research.

    1997- 2001      Chief, Section of Neuroophthalmological Mechanisms; Deputy Scientific Director for Bldg. 49, NEI.

    1977- 2001      Assistant Professor of Neurology through Professor of Neurology at the NIH, Georgetown University School of Medicine. Attending Neurologist, Georgetown University Hospital

    2001-present  David Mahoney Professor of Brain and Behavior, in the Departments of Neuroscience, Neurology, Psychiatry, and Ophthalmology, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY. Attending Neurologist, New York-Presbyterian Hospital; Director, Division of Neurobiology and Behavior,  New York State Psychiatric Institute.

    Teaching Responsibilities

    Graduate Seminar in Systems Neuroscience

    Lectures in the Basic and Clinical Neuroscience Course

    Section teaching in Clinical Correlates of Basic Neuroscience

    Resident and student teaching on the CUMC neurology hospitalist service


    Research Interests

    Neurobiology of Learning and Memory
    Cognitive/Systems neuroscience
    Sensory Physiology
    Synapses and circuits

    Lab Members

  • Mulugeta Semework, Postdoctoral Fellow
  • Linus Sun, Instructor in Neurology (in Ophthalmology)
  • Xiaolan Wang, Senior Research Associate
  • Anna Ipata, Senior Research Associate
  • Publications

    1.     Duhamel, J.-R., Colby, C.L., and Goldberg, M.E. The updating of the representation of visual space in parietal cortex by intended eye movements. Science, 255: 90-92, 1992.

    2.     Gottlieb, J., Kusunoki, M., and Goldberg, M.E. The representation of visual salience in monkey parietal cortex Nature 391: 481-484, 1998.

    3.     Hasegawa, R.P., Blitz, A.M., Geller, N. and Goldberg, M.E. Neurons in monkey prefrontal cortex that track past or predict future performance. Science 290:1786-9, 2000.

    4.     Bisley, JW and Goldberg, M.E. Neuronal Activity in LIP and Spatial Attention. Science, 299:81-86, 2003.

    5.     Ipata AE, Gee AL, Goldberg, ME and Bisley, JW. Activity in the lateral intraparietal area predicts the goal and latency of saccades in a free viewing visual search task. J. Neurosci. 26: 3656-61, 2006.

    6.     Ipata AE, Gee AL, Bisley, JW and Goldberg, ME. Responses in the lateral intraparietal area to a popout stimulus are reduced if it is overtly ignored.  Nat. Neurosci. 9:171-6, 2007.

    7.     Wang, X, Zhang,M, Cohen, IS, and Goldberg,ME.  The proprioceptive representation of eye position in monkey primary somatosensory cortex, Nat. Neuroscience, 10:, 640-646, 2007.

    8.     Ganguli S, Bisley JW, Roitman j, Shalden M, Goldberg ME, Miller K . . One dimensional dynamics of attention and decision making in LIP. Neuron, 58:15-25, 2008.

    9.     Gee, A. L., A. E. Ipata, et al. "Neural enhancement and pre-emptive perception: the genesis of attention and the attentional maintenance of the cortical salience map." Perception 37(3): 389-400, 2008.

    10.  Ipata, A. E., A. L. Gee, et al. "Neurons in the lateral intraparietal area create a priority map by the combination of disparate signals." Exp Brain Res. 171: 37-45, 2009.

    11.  Bisley JW, Goldberg ME.  Attention, intention, and priority in the parietal lobe.  Ann. Rev. Neurosci  33:1-21, 2010.

    12.  Falkner AE,  Krishna BS, Goldberg ME. Surround suppression sharpens the priority map in LIP. J. Neurosci, 38:12787-97, 2010.

    13.  Gee AL, Ipata AE, Goldberg ME. Activity in V4 reflects the direction, but not the latency, of saccades during visual search. J Neurophysiol. 104: 2187-2193, 2010.

    14.  Xu Y, Wang X, Peck C, Goldberg, ME.  The time course of the tonic oculomotor proprioceptive signal in area 3a of somatosensory cortex. J. Neurophysiology, 106:71-7, 2011.

    15.  Ipata, A., A. Gee, et al. "Feature attention evokes task-specific pattern selectivity in V4 neurons." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 109(42): 16778-16785. PMID: 23043119, 2012.

    16.  Xu, B., C. Karachi, et al. "The postsaccadic unreliability of gain fields renders it unlikely that the motor system can use them to calculate target position in space." Neuron 76(6): 1201-1209. PMID- 23259954, 2012.

    17.  Falkner AL, Krisha BS, & Goldberg ME. Spatial Representation and Cognitive Modulation of Response Variability in the Lateral Intraparietal Area Priority Map. J Neurosci. 2013 Oct 9;33(41):16117-30, 2013.

    18.  Steenrod S, Phillips MH, & Goldberg ME. The lateral intraparietal area (LIP) codes the location of saccade targets and not the dimension of the saccades that will be made to acquire them. J Neurophysiol 109(10):2596-2605, 2013.

    19.  Zhang, M., X. Wang and M. E. Goldberg. "A spatially nonselective baseline signal in parietal cortex reflects the probability of a monkey's success on the current trial." Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 111(24): 8967-8972, 2014.

    20.  Krishna BS, Ipata AE, Bisley JW, Gottlieb J, Goldberg ME. Extrafoveal preview benefit during free-viewing visual search in the monkey. J Vis. 8:14(1). pii: 6. doi:10.1167/14.1.6, 2014.